Ten Big Decisions

It's a very simple problem, from the GM chair

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=== Eyes Slideways ===

[COMIC PANEL ONE] You kiddies are desperately hoping for something to occur that might distract SSI, and cause it to talk about something other than soldiers killing people and breaking things.  

[COMIC PANEL TWO] Hector Noesi occurs today.  

[COMIC PANEL THREE]  ::crickets::  :: Dr D thrashes about for a punch line ::

Where is Jeff Sullivan when you really need him?

..........

The infield battles are not very interesting.  Well, it's interesting to see whether the M's will keep only two catchers, and whether they can find room for Alex Liddi or Nick Franklin.  But 1B-2B-SS-3B are set.

The 5-man outfield rotation is kind of interesting.  However, all of the outfielders other than Morse and possibly Saunders are of roughly equal talent.  Whether the M's give time to Casper Wells or Jason Bay is unlikely to swing the balance of power in the West.

The M's are loaded in the bullpen.  That's not a battle; it's an impending bloodbath.  For the other teams.  I know a couple of pricey AL West teams who had better get their leads by the 6th inning.  

..........

However, the starting rotation battle is both (1) fascinating and (2) a pivot point for the M's presumed future domination of hardball as we know it.

Cinderella teams occur, and usually they occur because Billy Beane finds five starting pitchers who lock you down.  The M's cleanest path to a big season is by getting a surprise rotation going.  It could like totally happen.  It is most heinously the job of the shot-callers to MAKE it happen.  They can't afford to be feebleminds on their rotation calls.

Capt Jack and Sgt Wedge can afford to indulge their biases on Robert Andino or Jason Bay or Raul Ibanez or three catchers.  They gotta get the rotation right.

...........

Bill James learned, once he got inside baseball, that Theo Epstein's GM seasons depended on 10 or 12 mammoth decisions he made each season, and whether those turned out to be the right calls.  HERE is where they gotta get it right.  

If you look back from November 2013, and the Mariners turned out to have a great season, it says here it will probably have been -- primarily -- because they made the right calls in the rotation.

NEXT

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SpectatorLooking closer: Reyes from 20 to 22 had no power and barely ever walked but was there for his glove and speed. That's Marte. But eventually Reyes' BB-rate got more normal and his ISO got up over .140. And you could see it coming from his minors numbers (.156 ISO with 7.4% BB-rate at 19 in High-A & AA). Not seeing the latter Reyes (the genuine all-star one) in Marte, and reports are that he's not necessarily an ultra- glove wizard.4 min 25 sec ago
SpectatorJon Paul Morosi says someone in the M's brass is comparing Ketel Marte to Jose Reyes. Not seeing it myself. http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/seattle-mariners-crowded-shortstop-position-brad-miller-chris-taylor-ketel-marte-02241517 min 26 sec ago
SABR MattYep...as I figured...Weeks will mostly play LF, 1B, and occasionally DH or 3B...the other guy (Bloomquist or Taylor) will play 2B, SS and occasionally 3B.2 hours 22 min ago
MtGrizzly@RyanDivish: McClendon said that Weeks will work in left field this spring and said the combo (not platoon) of he and Ackley could put up good numbers2 hours 36 min ago
mojicianNotable Rangers tragedies: Nolan Ryan leaves Rangers with hurt feelings after being put in Jon Daniels' sandbox. Jurickson Profar out forever. Derek Holland out for 2014; 3. Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison injured in 2014 Ian Kinsler traded for "never missed a game" Prince Fielder to make room for the aforementioned Profar. As soon as Fielder is traded he has his neck fused. Kinsler is good in Detroit and says he hopes the Rangers lose every game. Shin Soo Choo out for the count. Houston Astros lose the nickname "Lastros" after only one season.18 hours 38 min ago
mojicianHow about the Angels? Notable tragedies: AAA sensation Nick Adenhart killed by a drunk driver the night of his rookie debut. Coach falls over with a broken leg after trying to catch a ceremonial first pitch, and Josh Hamilton. What about the Stros? Their regional sports network went belly up, they lost their first round pick in 2014, and nearly lost the 2015 draft pick. The Orcs don't have personnel tragedies because the turnover approaches 100 percent from year to year. Orcs are fungible, like bales of hay. The Rangers really are snake bit.18 hours 46 min ago
OBFI don't follow other orgs closely at all... do they all have their share of tragedy, or are the M's... uh.... special in that regard? Halman and Sanchez of course leap off the page, but even beyond that freak injuries to up and comers seem like regular occurrences(Snelling rounding the bases, the pitcher who got tore up in an odd self car accident, DTFT losing his career to a food allergy of all things[he should try whole30])... Like I said, could just be bias since I follow the M's closely, but it feels like we are snake bite...19 hours 8 min ago
MtGrizzlyMLB's 'streaming-tech' business unit is quickly becoming a major force in the OTT (over the top) market. HBO will be using the platform for their direct-to-consumer streaming service. Ditto Sony, ESPN and the World Wrestling Entertainment. Glenn Beck is already using it for his OTT network. MLB reportedly has a sales funnel of 40 more, including a number of traditional TV networks. Very strange to see MLB as a leading innovator in...anything really. But they have something figured out.21 hours 56 min ago
SpectatorSanchez still in coma, but "small dose of good news"; better than bad news, I guess. http://m.mariners.mlb.com/news/article/110180578/mariners-receive-update-on-injured-prospect-sanchez1 day 51 min ago
SABR MattFarquhar abandoning the 2-seamer is very good news. His cutter should be dialed back a bit as well...throw more up the ladder 4-seamers and more curves and change-ups and a few fewer cutters and you've got the makings of a closer.1 day 3 hours ago
SABR MattDaddyO - short form answer is that the Yankees spend more than any team in baseball by a wide....WIIIIIIIDDDDE margin for analytics and that they specifically looked for managers and coaches interested in analytics to inform decision-making...and I can guarantee you that their infrastructure for doing analytics work is second to none in organized sports.1 day 3 hours ago
DaddyOInteresting article on MLB teams' increasing awareness of the impact of player fatigue over the course of a full season. http://www.wsj.com/articles/baseballs-fight-with-fatigue-14247105601 day 12 hours ago
lrI get what you&#039;re saying about getting a sense of how someone moves, but I think anyone fielding a 6 hopper in drills is going to look pretty good. I&#039;d bet if we could find some spring training grounders video of Smoak, or Morrison, they might look a little different than they do taking live grounders in games. I&#039;m not saying Smoak is a good athlete, he&#039;s not. I&#039;m just saying using that specific video to declare Montero a vastly better athlete than most any other pro baseball player seems premature. Let&#039;s also not forget he played catcher for what, 5 or 6 years. He has to have some feel for how to react to a baseball coming at him. You&#039;d think that should help him in the hands department as well, at least in theory. My main doubts for Montero are in the reaction time/reflexes/quickness area, which combined with having good hands are probably the most important things for that position.1 day 16 hours ago
MtGrizzly@ProspectInsider: Danny Farquhar tells us he's scrapping the two-seamer this year.1 day 16 hours ago
DaddyOMatt, I'd be interested in your comment, if allowed, on what that site has to say about the Yankees.1 day 17 hours ago
DaddyOFYI, saw a link to this on another baseball site, thought I'd pass it on... The Great Analytics Rankings, categorizes and ranks MLB teams with regard to their commitment to saber analytics. ... http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/12331388/the-great-analytics-rankings#1 day 17 hours ago
SABR MattI think when you watch an infielder over any sort of grounder, even if it's a routine fungo, you get a sense for how they are relating to the ball. I believe Montero has vastly improved in this area, his body now gets to a point where the incoming energy of the ball is being softly absorbed...look where his chest, glove hand, and outer hip are as he fields it. That is the kind of thing I'm talking about. Smoak was kludgy at first base relative to the ball...he made up for it easily by having soft hands and being very skilled picking bad throws from other infielders...but Montero could be better now at positioning himself relative to the ball...I would need to see how he handles a tough play where he has to range some in order to be sure.1 day 22 hours ago
SABR MattLOL at Paxton falling over in agility drills...pitchers generally are not athletes.1 day 22 hours ago
DaddyOOBF-- Yep. Nothing but puff pieces and meaningless drivel for another week or so, and even then the ST games don't mean anything. ST's who's hot and who's not will prove again like they do every year that stats put up against prospects who won't play and veterans who are just rounding into shape don't mean a thing. Still, at least there's baseball talk. And something to crowd out the joke that is the NBA.1 day 22 hours ago
OBFNot sure about Seattle, but the Willamette Valley, down here in Oregon, is going through it's annual February Tease... Sunny, clear blue skies, 60 degrees... But the cold and drizzle will be back in a week, count on it and will stay until late April... This of course perfectly mirrors Picthers and Catchers report (and spring training in general).... SUCH A TEASE! Come on April hurry up!1 day 23 hours ago